Levator Veli Palatini

What is the Levator Veli Palatini?

The levator veli palatini (LVP) is a muscle in the nasopharynx that is responsible for elevating the soft palate. The soft palate is a muscular flap that separates the nasopharynx from the oropharynx. The LVP is one of the muscles that is responsible for opening the Eustachian tube, which is a small tube that connects the middle ear to the nasopharynx.

What does the tensor veli palatini do in the ear?

The tensor veli palatini (TVP) is another muscle in the nasopharynx that is responsible for tensing the soft palate. The TVP does not directly open the Eustachian tube, but it helps to create a pressure differential that helps to open the tube.

Where does the levator veli palatini attach?

The LVP originates from the petrous portion of the temporal bone and courses along the surface under the auditory tube. The muscle descends and inserts into the soft palate where it blends with levator fibers from the opposite site.

What is the function and innervation of the levator veli palatini?

The LVP is innervated by the pharyngeal plexus, which is a network of nerves that arises from the vagus nerve. The LVP’s function is to elevate the soft palate, which helps to close off the nasopharynx during swallowing and speech. The LVP also helps to open the Eustachian tube, which helps to equalize the pressure between the middle ear and the atmosphere.

In audiology, what are some of the implications of damage to the levator veli palatini?

Damage to the LVP can result in a number of problems, including:

  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Hypernasality (a nasal speech quality)
  • Eustachian tube dysfunction
  • Middle ear effusion (fluid in the middle ear)

Damage to the LVP can be caused by a number of factors, including:

  • Cleft palate
  • Trauma
  • Surgery
  • Infection

If you are experiencing any of the problems listed above, it is important to see an audiologist or otolaryngologist (ENT) for evaluation.